Superstar Queensland playmaker Johnathan Thurston has dropped a bombshell by revealing he is a strong chance of playing in the series opener on Wednesday night - but says he won’t risk further damage to his shoulder if he is not 100 per cent fit to play.
Speaking on Wednesday morning, Thurston declared he has been given until an hour prior to kick-off before a final decision will be made.
“I’d like to play, it’s what I’m here for,” he said.
“We’ve got things in place to see if the shoulder’s right, if not then 'Milf' [Anthony Milford] will play.
“Kevvy has given me till kick-off but for Milf’s sake, he needs to prepare like he’s playing. He’s in a good head space.
“I don't want to risk hurting it or doing any damage to the team.”
Although ambitious about his chances of playing, Thurston admitted to still experiencing slight pain in his shoulder but will give himself every opportunity to declare himself fit to make his 37th consecutive Origin appearance.
“There’s still a bit of pain there but my shoulder’s getting better everyday,” he said.
“If the shoulder is 100 per cent on game-day then I’ll play.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think in my right mind I could play,” he said.
Despite the possibility of running out onto Suncorp Stadium alongside his Origin team-mates, the future immortal is confident dynamic Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford can get the job done in his potential Origin debut.
“Milford has been 18th man before in camp. I’ve had a bit to do with him there,” he said.
“He’s an exciting talent. I have no doubt he can get the job done.”
Asked about his run-in with maligned NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce in previous series, Thurston was honest in admitting he was happy for his rival halfback to be re-called into the NSW side.
“It’s great to see Mitch back, as a Rugby League community we’ll get behind each other and it’s good to see him come back and wrestle his demons.”
“He’s back playing his best footy and you want to play against the best.”